One of Satan’s favourite schemes is encouraging us to use legitimate things and valid feelings in ways that are wrong. Here’s an example: During the wilderness temptation, he tried to take advantage of Jesus’ hunger by saying, ‘Turn these stones into loaves of bread’ (Matthew 4:3 MSG). But Jesus knew God’s Word and replied with a quote from Deuteronomy: ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”’ (v.4 NIV). If Jesus had given in to His human impulse of hunger, He would have gone along with Satan’s scheme and missed the blessing that was just about to arrive from His heavenly Father. But He trusted the Word of God and stayed strong, in spite of His very real feeling. Just as Satan tried to tempt Jesus, he also tries to use his schemes on us. For example, we all need money, so Satan will whisper to us that we can’t afford to donate to charity or church even when we have enough. We’ve all been created with a need for companions, so Satan will play on any fears of loneliness that we have, and encourage us to pick relationships that are wrong for us. We want success, so Satan will hint that we’re not good enough, and nudge us to cheat or lie to get ahead. So what’s the answer? Paul says, ‘Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:11 NIVUK). There is only one way to unmask Satan and defeat his schemes, and that’s through a close walk with God, daily Bible study, and a consistent prayer life. That’s how we can guard our minds, our mouths, and our morals.
Read about ‘the full armour of God’ in Ephesians 6:10-17. As you read each verse, pray that your confidence and trust in God will grow. Ask Him for protection from every one of the devil’s schemes.
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